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Vashon’s & Maury Islands: Hands Across Time Copyright Roxanne B. Thayer Ed.D. 54 Minute Documentary
Produced and Directed by Dr. Thayer; Edited by Dr. Thayer & Byrd Productions
Award for this documentary, given to Dr. Thayer: Washington State Historic Preservation Officer’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Public Education, 1997.
Award given to Dr. Thayer for this film, and other works: “2020-21 ’The Marquis Who’s Who’ Publications Board inclusion in the biographical record, which is limited to individuals who possess professional integrity, demonstrate outstanding achievement in their respective fields and have made innumerable contributions to society as a whole.”
Forty hours of film were recorded for this documentary. These video files are held at Vashon Heritage Museum. They are free to use, with appropriate credits given.
This documentary began with a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the University of Washington Archaeologists (UW), the Puyallup Nation, and Roxanne Thayer’s student project. This was believed to be the first University/First Nations/student partnered archaeological project.
There were two goals of the student portion of the project:
1. First was to bring both Island and Puyallup Nation students, of Chief Leschi Middle and High School, together to participate in the research and at the archaeological site. The person assigned to transport the students did not follow through and his Puyallup Nation students were unable to attend as a result. There were other First Nations’ People present at both the archaeological and research sites; however, due to the MOA, these people could not be included in the documentary.
2. Second was to prove the “thesis” that the Sqababsh People of Vashon and Maury Islands were interned on Fox Island during the 1854-55 Indian Wars. This was proven with a census, uncovered at the Washington State Archives, by Sidney Ford on Fox Island taken in 1855.
At the time of the filming, “S’Homamish”, of Chinook Jargon, was the name for the People of Vashon and Maury Islands, preferred by the Puyallup Nation Elders. Further research indicates the Sqababsh or in Twulushootseed language: Tx!"l!ucid was the name used by the People themselves. The European settlers used phonetic spelling; consequently, there are multiple words employed for the First People of Vashon and Maury Islands in primary documents of that time. Today, Sqababsh is the most often used.
During the summer of 1996 students from Island and First Nation Schools participated in a hands-on field school to uncover the story of the First People of Vashon-Maury Islands. They worked side by side with UW archaeologists, Native Peoples, historians, and educators at the archaeological site, museums, libraries, and archives. They conducted video interviews of the descendants of the Sqababsh, and other Native People, as well as early Euro-Americans settlers of the Islands. The work to create this film concluded in 1998.
Special recognition goes to:
Rosemary Bridges James, Puyallup Nation and Vashon Maury Island resident, descendant of Sqababsh People
Aaron, Iris, Gene and Peggy Sherman descendants of the early settlers
Other people were instrumental in creating this film; their names are noted in the credits at the end of the film.
Twelve grants were written to begin this project, 9 were funded, among them were:
Vashon Maury Island Heritage Association -- King County Landmarks & Heritage -- A Territory Resource
Uploaded by Washington Rural Heritage on